Posts Tagged ‘work’

As you know if you read my last post, I just made a quilt for my sister for her wedding.

Have you ever made a quilt?

I’m guessing no, because it’s not exactly a universal experience, but if you have you have my sympathy. If you have not and you are thinking, “Well, what the eff is she complaining about?” you can just shut your bloody mouth.

You know why? Here’s why:


And you should care because making a double wedding ring quilt is hard.  Or if not “splitting-the-atom” hard, it is “making really nice mitred corners on crown moulding” hard.  If you ever run across instructions for something that include the phrase “Make 98 arcs” you know you’ve come across something tricky.

Of course, I made the quilt because a) I thought my sister would like it and b) I really like making things.  But Christ on a cracker it did take a lot of time.

Each square of this quilt took about 2 hours to piece, not counting cutting time.  Once the whole top was pieced, it took a few hours to baste the top to the other layers, then about 2 hours per square (again) to hand quilt the layers together.  There were 20 squares.  (20 squares x 2 x 2) + several other hours = This quilt took at least 100 hours of labour to make.  So now you know why I blogged so little in July and August – because every spare minute that wasn’t engaged in practicing or sneezing 97 times in a row (RAGWEEEEEEEEED!) was taken up by quilting.  Also, think of what a labour of love it was.  If I were to sell it and pay myself my normal hourly rate I could not have found a buyer for it, it would cost so much.

Fortunately this was a gift for my only sister on the occasion of her wedding, so she could hardly say no.*  And I’m happy to have made it for her.  When/if my brother-in-law gets married I will make a quilt for him, because I do really enjoy making things, and it’s a nice thing to do for your immediate family members.  But if you want me to make you one, it’s going to cost you at least $3000.  And you will have to put up with severely limited blogging in the interim.



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1:45 PM – Get on bicycle to go to teach. Notice it’s snowing a bit. Considering taking bike on subway to first lesson. Realize I have no money and no time to go take any out. Shrug, get on my bike, go.

2:10 PM – About halfway to my first lesson, snow suddenly gets much heavier and it’s windy. Curse my fate and continue.

2:15 – Bike gears stop working, so am stuck in 3X6 going uphill.

2:15-2:45 Continue to curse my fate.

2:50 Arrive at first lesson five minutes late, very hungry, and completely exhausted.

5:10 – Manage to grab bagel in between lessons.

8:40 – Finish teaching. Bike towards Tranzac for PRO gig.

9:10 – Eat massive falafel.

10 – PRO gig for a small but appreciative audience. Have great time.

1 AM – Ben and I get a ride home from my friend Chris Warren. Bikes are stuffed in the back seat, Ben and I are stuffed in the front seat.

1:30 AM – Get home, realize we’re both starving, make some food.

2 AM – Madeline decides that since we’re up, it must be daytime, and starts howling at Gus to wake him up.

2:01 AM – I calm Madeline down by throwing a blanket over her and speaking in soothing tones.

2:30 – Bedtime.

10 AM (today) – Wake up and contemplate the future.

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Today I had a new student start, someone a little farther north than I usually teach, so I took a different route to start work than I normally do. I was biking up Mount Pleasant Ave just north of Eglinton, and stopped at the light right at Northern Secondary School. Guess what was lying in the road right in front of me?

Whatever you thought of wasn’t it. Think of something weirder. And a bit dirty.

OK, the answer is after the jump. No pics, though. That would be disgusting.

Do not click if you are sensitive, prudish, or under 16:

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Having now been back at work for a week, even on a slightly reduced schedule, I have reached the weekend completely exhausted. It may be the biking, it may be the cold weather, it may be the fact that for a full week I’ve had to actually get off the couch and do stuff, but I find myself unable to do pretty much anything today.

This is what I’ve done so far:
– Buy some groceries
– Clean the bathroom
– Make some red lentil soup
– Clean out the fridge

This is what I originally intended to do today:
– Practice a lot
– Write some stuff
– Clean the whole house
– Make my podcast
– Try to install eeebuntu again
– Take some clothes I’m getting rid of to the thrift shop
– Go to the bank

What I probably will end up doing today:
– Lie in bed
– Get some beer from the liquor store
– Think seriously about making my podcast and decide to do it tomorrow
– Maybe go to the bank, maybe not
– Some knitting
– Watch more Harry Potter movies

Anyway. Tomorrow is another day. Moving on, remember how I met that guy who was convinced that the Mennonites were out to get him? Well, I ran across an audiobook called The Silk Code which involves some sinister Amish people, Neanderthals, a murder mystery, lots of good stuff. You can get it for free from podiobooks.com here, if you’re in the mood for a delightfully silly mystery. I must say I only downloaded it because of the sinister Amish thing – I wondered if there were some Plain Folk conspiracy theories out there beyond the mustached weirdo I met at Skeptics in the Pub – and I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve listened to it over the past few days, and while I can’t say it revealed any new truths about human nature to me, it was highly entertaining.

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Note: I wrote this yesterday and totally clicked “publish”. Yet wordpress in its infinite wisdom saved it to “drafts”. Rat bastards.

Almost as if I were a normal person with a real job, I was out of the house for 12 hours yesterday. I had an extra lesson tacked onto the beginning of my schedule, plus I had to run a bunch of minor but vital errands (pick up a score, get some books for students, buy new bike lights etc) before work, then we had rehearsal. This is what I ate:

Breakfast – Toast and an apple
Lunch – 1 Chinese bun
Snack at around 4:30 – 1 energy bar, which I’d had the forethought to pick up while buying bike lights at MEC
Dinner (11 PM) – Giant amounts of Tandoori chicken and naan. Thank god for the Lahore Tikka House, that’s all I can say. Every neighbourhood needs an Indian restaurant constructed entirely of scarves that is open late on weeknights.

So I’m still tired and sore, and after I finish teaching tonight I need to design squid costumes. Any ideas on how to make a squid headdress that won’t fall off when you dance?

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So it’ll be summer soon, and a good number of my students will be off doing fun, self-improving things that I can’t afford to do.  The economic downturn has thrown a bit of a spanner into my financial planning for this year, so I’m looking to pick up a bit of extra money.  I had some ideas…

Direct link.

The full list after the jump. (more…)

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You know how, when you’re trying to save money/get out of debt/save up for the pectoral implants, you keep track of how you spend your money so you can figure out how to cut your expenses?  I’m doing the same thing for time.

I need to practice twice a day, and most of the time I’m only practicing once a day.  Yet my days seem to be full, and I’m tired at the end of them (like now).  Is it that I’m working all the time?  A resounding NO.  Not if my bank balance has anything to say about it.  I’m working ENOUGH, but not by any stretch of the imagination am I 100% booked.  My sneaking suspicion is that the intertubes are sucking my time and therefore life away.  So I’m doing a “time audit”.  (No, I’m NOT a Scientologist.  Maybe I should just call it “keeping track of how I spend my time”.)

So this is EXACTLY what I did today.  Please, I beg you, feel free not to click.


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